When players report Wednesday for the 9th Annual East Coast Bowl there will be several with links to the area.
Tunde Ogun, 6-0 218, is a running back from Christopher Newport University in Newport News, VA. Ogun played high school football for Douglas Freeman High School and has been superb for Captains of CNU in his career. After rushing for close to 2,000 yards as a junior he was named a Division III All-American. Ogun embedded his name in the CNU record book as the all-time leader in career rushing and touchdowns.
LaMarcus Coker, 5-10 205, is a running back from Hampton University in Hampton, VA. Coker, a Nashville, TN native, began his college football career at the University of Tennessee and contributed heavily for the Volunteers including a 42-yard touchdown run in the 2006 Outback Bowl against Penn State. Coker is on his way toward an All-MEAC season with over 1,000 yards rushing this year.
Damon McDaniel, 6-0 185, is a wide receiver from Hampton University and he was the number two overall prospect in the state of Virginia coming out of Landstown High School in 2006. McDaniel settled on Florida State and played two seasons for the Seminoles before transferring back home to Hampton. McDaniel is a long-time friend and former high school teammate of current Minnesota Viking Percy Harvin, and much like his former teammate, McDaniel has the ability to impact a game with his return skills.
Nicholas Royal, 6-4 323, is an offensive lineman from Hampton University and Dan River High School in Keeling, VA. Royal has been a mainstay on the Pirate offensive line since his freshman year and a big reason for the success of running back LaMarcus Coker. Royal is majoring in sports management and his cousin, Eddie, was a standout at Virginia Tech and off to a great start with the Denver Broncos.
Jahmal Blanchard, 6-2 200, is a punter from Hampton University and was recently named Special Teams Player of the Week in the MEAC for his crucial role in a victory over Florida A & M. Blanchard was named to the first team All-MEAC team last season for averaging just over 43 yards per punt for the second straight year.
Hurley “Tre” Hemphill, 6-0 235, is a linebacker from Virginia Union University in Richmond, VA and he was a first team all conference performer for the Panthers in the CIAA this season. Hemphill, from Kannapolis, NC, was the anchor on the top scoring defensive unit in the CIAA and finished the season third in the conference in total tackles.
Richard Boone, 5-9 170, is a wide receiver from Saint Augustine’s College in Raleigh, NC and a native of Petersburg, VA. Boone was invaluable for the Falcons this season on special teams, including a 99-yard kickoff return. Boone has proved to be a playmaker on offense and in the return game and he will get the opportunity to showcase those skills in his hometown.
The East Coast Bowl game has quickly become the Thanksgiving tradition in Petersburg, VA and will be played at Historic Cameron Field on Saturday, November 28th at 12 Noon. The Committee will gather nominations from schools in just about all 50 states, which will be narrowed down to the top 75 Division I-FCS, II, III and NAIA athletes. Players will report to Petersburg the day before Thanksgiving and spend the holiday doing various community visits as well as practice sessions for NFL scouts. The game itself is set-up as a scholarship event, with all of the revenue generated going into a fund for a local high school senior who plans on attending a Division I-FCS, II or III college.
For more information visit www.petersburgsports.com